IT could be argued that in a mature democracy there is no need for separate referenda, as the views of the people are represented by the elected representatives. It is a sign of the failure of the UK democratic process that the recent emphasis has come to be placed on the referendum process.

Where a General Election coincides with testing the view of the people on a specific issue, the matter can be fairly canvassed by focusing on that issue in the parliamentary election manifesto.

In our current situation if the pro-independence parties have made their position clear in the manifesto that a majority vote in favour of those parties would be interpreted as a mandate to prepare for the annulment of the Treaty of Union, then that should be sufficient without a further referendum.

It is only when there is no General Election on the horizon that a single-issue referendum should be sought. The only question is whether it should be a majority of votes cast from Scotland, or a majority of the Scottish MPs, that would trigger this Declaratory Act. Scotland once free could make iher own decision on her relationship with the EU. Meantime it would be helpful to have the backing of Europe just as Ireland has.

C Walker

DID anyone pick up the comment made by Nigel Evans MP (Tory) during debate on Wednesday evening?

Mr Evans said the proposed General Election “would be like a second EU referendum”. If that is acceptable in Westminster then the same rule should apply in Scotland, where a General Election “would be like indyref2”.

Watching events at Westminster it is clear normal rules no longer apply. Therefore: inform heads of state around the world. Invite UN (or whoever) to ensure General Election in Scotland is “above board”. Count votes as usual, allocating seats to MPs/MSPs. Then a second count to total up all the votes for “indy parties” and all the votes for “Union parties”.

Declare independence. Job done.

Greta Macdougal
via email

MUCH will be said in the coming days and weeks about David Mundell, the MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale who was also until recently Scotland’s Secretary of State. As a resident of Dumfries and Galloway I am very aware that both the current Secretary of State Alistair Jack and David Mundell were elected in 2017 to represent the residents of this county.

Alistair Jack voted for keeping a No-Deal Brexit as an option. Strangely, despite all the independent evidence that it would be disastrous for jobs, livelihoods and prices in the shops, he has always supported the No-Deal option. Although he was voting against his constituents’ wishes, at least you knew where you stood with Mr Jack, and the voters of Dumfries and Galloway will have the choice at the next election to remove or keep him on as their representative.

What about the Right Honourable David Mundell? “Right” certainly describes his political leanings, but “Honourable”? On Tuesday, Mr Mundell voted to support Boris Johnson’s option of a disastrous No-Deal exit from the EU. However, in 2016 he agreed with the wishes of his constituents (as expressed in the EU referendum) by saying publicly that “leaving the EU would be an absolute disaster for Scotland”. More recently, this year he joined his party leader Ruth Davidson in totally denouncing the No-Deal option and confirming he would not support a No Deal because of its devastating effect not just on Scotland, but on the whole of the UK.

Should we voters care about this apparent lapse of integrity when at least Ruth Davidson, as well as 21 Conservative MPs, including former Cabinet members decided to put the country and their own beliefs before the narrow interests of the extreme right-wing Johnson government?

Mr Mundell failed this week in his duty to represent his constituents by voting against his own and their democratically expressed beliefs. Many Conservative voters – as well as those from other parties, the non-aligned, and of course young first-time voters whose future rests on decisions taken by their representatives – looked on and noted how they will vote in the next Westminster election.

S Campbell

THE National often claims to have the best columnists in the business; I agree, they are outstanding. Kevin McKenna’s article (The elite revolution has begun, September 4) is exactly the hard-hitting journalism the independence movement needs if we are ever going to awaken the “undecided” to the situation we are facing.

What a splendid and well-written article it was. I would only ask Kevin to do one little thing: stop reminding everyone that you’re a Roman Catholic every now and then in your articles. There are many non-Catholics, and even non-Christians, who are equally fervent about independence and an individual’s religion is irrelevant. Having said that, thank you for all the wonderful articles that you and your fellow columnists have contributed to The National, which is the only paper worth reading if you want to know the truth about what’s going on in the independence movement.

H Whittaker

I SEE Humza Yousaf is not very keen on the middle name of the SNP, inferring it is too nationalistic.

I have always looked at it in a different light, presuming it meant the whole nation. A bit like the old Tory “one nation”. Perhaps is would have been clearer when the two parties joined together in 1934 to have taken the longer partner name of The National Party of Scotland.

Hamish MacQueen